The original Kuching river (Sungai Kuching) (古晋河) used to flow from what is now the Reservoir Park, along Thompson Road (now known as Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman), through the Tua Pek Kong Temple and the old Chinese Chamber of Commerce and into Sungai Sarawak. The creation of the reservoir had subsequently reduced the flow of the river and in 1928 the river was backfilled to allow development with the former river becoming a new street. The street was named “Temple Street” because the start of the street is where the iconic Tua Pek Kong Temple is located. The temple is one of Sarawak’s oldest temples and is believed to have existed since the early 1800s. Written evidence can be found on the temple’s pillars dating back to 1856.
This street is considered as the ‘greenest’ or ‘youngest’ among all streets in Old Bazaar. A relatively recent development, the shophouses were built in the 1970s. Before then, it had been a wooded area at the foot of Bukit Mata Kuching (thus the name ‘Green Hill’), favoured by local children.